Tuesday, Feb 26th landed in New Iberia and did a couple of tours. The first tour was to the famous Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory located at Avery Island. Just a short ride to the island, it cost a dollar to enter the island. Tabasco Pepper Sauce was first produced by Edmund McIlhenny from capsicum pepper plants first grown on Avery Island in the post-Civil War era. Its recipe is so unique he was granted a patent on it, is closely followed today. The second tour was America's Oldest Rice Mill. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U. S. Government. Founder Phillip Conrad Sr. built the Conrad Rice Mill in 1912. Both tours were very interesting, I recommend if you ever get to New Iberia Texas.
Tuesday March 11th We are in Destin Fl following the coast line. The beaches are beautiful white sand. It is raining this morning, and still cold. Spring break week and the campsites are full so we stayed at a Walmart parking lot for the night. This morning we are headed for Panama City Fl about 52 miles from Destin. The rain has followed us all the way. Drove down Front Street which runs by the beach. All the spring breakers were walking around in bathing suits and we have jackets on. You can tell we are desert rats. If it stops raining it would be nice to walk around the beach and find a place to get a fish sandwich and a beer.
Wednesday March 12th. On our way to Port St. Joe still traveling hwy 98 east. We were camping in the Walmart parking lot in Panama City Beach and around 6am, there was a pounding on our door. Startled us including Cuddles who started barking. There was the police telling we can not park here. There were about 6 motor homes parked throughout the lot and the police officer did the same thing to the others. The one parked next to us, he didn't get up right away so the police continued knocking and telling them to get up and get a room. It is spring break and the campgrounds are full. He was very rude. Driving on towards Port St. Joe we took a long break at Mexico Beach and enjoyed the beach. It is still cool, windy, and partly cloudy but it was nice listening to the waves.
Saturday, March 15th. Had two good nights at a campsite in Mexico Beach Fl. It rained all day on Friday but did get out and found a little restaurant called Toucan on the beach. Had a fish sandwich and beer. Took off this morning heading east on hwy 98. Went through a small town called Port St. Joe and on their sign is written that this town is the constitution of Florida.
Sunday March 16th. We camped last night at Carrabelle Beach Fl. it was about 60 miles east of Port St. Joe now heading for Crawfordsville Fl. where we camped at Walmart parking lot, was able to replenish food and gas. Driving on we took a break about 12 miles from Walmart along the beach. There were 3 horseshoe crabs lying on the beach and over on their backs. Bill took a large stick and pushed them back into the water. After a few minutes they took off, also came across a couple of stingrays. It is sunny and clear today, and about 85 degrees, beautiful.
Thursday, March 20th. Had two good days Tuesday and Wednesday in Old Town, doing a little maintenance and relaxing. Started out this morning heading to Homosassa Springs Florida, will be there on Friday. There is a wildlife state park where you observe the fish undergound. Found out what a Manatee is. They are related to the elephant family. The wildlife reserve has 6 female manatee's because they didn't want any breeding to take place. One of the manatee's weights 2000 lbs. I got a few good pictures which I will get on to the photo album on the website. They like to stay in the Gulf because the temperature has to be warm in order for them to survive. If they get out into the Atlantic and the water is too cold they will swim back into the reserve.
Saturday, March 29th. Spent the last 4 days in the Tampa area visiting. Bill's cousin, Nancy and her husband Jerry. Had dinner at their house on Monday night. On Tuesday we spent the time with my classmate from high school, Sheila. On Thursday we had lunch with Nancy before heading out of town. Nancy works in Sarasota, beautiful area. We met her at work and she took us to lunch at a restaurant called Sculley's Boardwalk. Sat outside along the water. Beautiful day, sunny and 78 degrees, food was very good also. Drove to North Port on hwy 41 and camped for the night and on to Naples Fl. to visit my niece and sister.
Wednesday, April 2nd, Had a great visit with my niece, Kathy and my sister, Jonell. My brother Walt, who is a truck driver out of Ohio got a delivery to Sarasota so my niece drove us back to Sarasota to have dinner with him. It was great to see them. Checked out Naples area, beautiful.
Friday, April 4th, We have worked our way from Naples to Florida City where we will spend the night at Walmart and get our supplies for the next two weeks. Tomorrow we will travel to Key Largo which is 26 miles, on hwy 1, and we will bury our first plaque. The plaque reads "Sandy & Bill Jacques 2008 USA Tour" plan to bury one in each of the 4 corners as we are traveling. From there we travel on to Key West for 2 weeks of fun, sun, and a good shower.